I hope you’re ready for the Jones family like you’ve never seen them before, because it’s almost time for FP’s 50th birthday, and Gladys has some big plans. For starters, she got FP a gift in the form of Betty’s house! Yep, she was the anonymous buyer, and now it’s not awkward at all that Jug and his family are going to move into Betty’s house…
As for Betty, she’s going to stay with Veronica, which means the two finally get a chance to catch up. And by catch up, I mean that Veronica spills the beans that Gladys is looking to revive the Fizzle Rocks trade, a secret Betty clearly has to share with Jug. But before she can, they have to deal with the little fact that everyone who’s playing G&G could be trying to kill Archie. And seeing as how a small child nearly succeeded in doing just that last week, perhaps it’s time they take some action.
Archie heads to Hiram to find out if he printed the “Kill the Red Paladin” cards that both the warden and Ricky were holding — and talk about an easy mystery — he did!! According to Hiram, he printed out 12 of the cards, gave three to Norton and nine to Tall Boy to distribute. Imagine being a grown man, a crime boss no less, and enlisting the help of 12(!!!) people to murder your teenage daughter’s then-boyfriend. I feel like there’s a whole mess of insecurity inside Hiram, and I’d like an episode of just him and his therapist working through it. Or if he and Archie want to wrestle again, that works too.
Hiram, ever the helper, also gives Archie a list of all the hubs where Riverdale’s gamers gather to play G&G. And once Jug finishes questioning his mother’s motives in returning home and buying the Cooper house — she swears her return is all about #family — he and Betty join Archie on, as Jug puts it, their “nerdiest mission yet.” And said mission is … semi-successful.
They find a few people playing G&G and find out that the other Red Paladin cards are still in play. They just have no way of knowing when people will use them. UNLESS, Jug realizes, they make an addendum to the game and find a way to convince the players — a.k.a. the world’s most gullible nerds — that the addendum came from the Gargoyle King himself. After all, that’s what Hiram did when he created the quest. (Please don’t tell me this means the mystery will end with someone saying, “We are ALL the Gargoyle King.”)
Jug proposes that they add to the quest: Any challengers will be given 12 hours to take out the Red Paladin in a no-weapons, hand-to-hand combat. One challenger at a time will be given a chance, and at the end of those 12 hours, the quest will end. But here’s a fun fact about Riverdale: It’s home to the world’s most jacked nerds! Honestly, you’re trying to tell me that the people playing G&G in the back of a comic store — no offense — have biceps as big as KJ Apa and know how to throw a punch? Also, once again we’re putting a lot of faith in Archie as a boxer. They’re practically treating this guy like he’s freakin’ Rocky at this point. He ain’t. (Although the person who managed to make him a “Red Paladin” boxing robe that quickly deserves a belt.)
But, long story short, Arch takes out a bunch of super buff nerds — and even a prison guard who arguably has the worst right cross of anyone ever — and frees himself … theoretically. (No one actually knows how this game works.) He also gets his own boxing gym out of it because Hiram recently acquired a city block that just so happened to have one??? Sure, I’m going to pick my battles and let this one go. (Next: Betty tells Jug the truth)